Gambling Experiences

In this section, people talk about their first experiences with gambling. They describe starting to gamble. They tell us what they initially liked about it, such as the joy of winning money, and how gambling was an absorbing and pleasurable experience.

People discuss why they began to gamble more: such as life challenges, mental health and neurodiversity, or because gambling is addictive.

People tell us about how their gambling difficulties worsened as they experienced physical and psychological addiction. Due to this, they say money loses its meaning and they begin to feel separated from themselves and others. They tell us about the extensive harm that can occur because gambling has no physical signs or limits.

You can navigate through peoples’ experiences by using the toolbar or by clicking on the links above.

When I first started gambling it was very much a bit of fun. I was just putting on little bets, football mainly. I might go to the pub and there would be William Hill over the road, getting a slip. We used to discuss football slips with mates and stuff. I’d put maybe a pound on here, and pound on there, that sort of thing.

I didn’t want anyone to find out really how bad it got because I didn’t actually enjoy doing it or want to do it. I just felt ashamed that I was ruining my whole life. It got to the point where I wasn’t even paying my bills, my rent either which – that’s not me. I always aspire to be paying my way and support others.

I was always trying to chase. It wasn’t particularly chasing the money at that stage, because I didn’t really care about the money. It was about going through the routine of waking up, putting the bets on, seeing what the outcome was, and if I won, great, but it would all go back on. I’d never cash anything out. I’d never be left with anything.

Get Support

If you feel like you need support or someone to talk to about your own or someone else’s gambling, there are several organisations who can offer help, support and answer any questions you may have.

Take Part

We are inviting people to share their experiences of any kind of difficulties due to gambling.